Small Stream Report 12/9/21: Speaking of wild trout…

I really felt that I should go to the Farmington River and throw streamers. There was snow on the ground, courtesy of the previous night’s cold front dusting, and it was just around freezing. The trout would be holding deep, but they might not mind moving for the right protein payoff. What’s more, in my mind I could feel the dull thud of streamer hook point meeting kype, and the thought was gaining traction.

But, no. I’d also been picturing this lovely snow-covered woodland with a thin almost-black line snaking its way through. Here the char would also likely be deep, but I might find a player who wanted to come up for a dry. Cigar smoke drifting though the bare tree limbs, not another person in sight, gentle murmur of water flowing over rock…yes. This was where I was meant to be.

Hiking through the snowy woods will generate some body heat, but my extremities were cold for much of the outing. The scene was even prettier than I’d imagined, and although the action was slow, I knew I’d made the right decision. I was also hoping to shoot some footage for a small stream presentation I’m currently building — and I was pleased to come away with a few good shots. As I suspected, the fish have moved off the spawning beds and into their winter lies. Which brings us to this logjam hole. Now, doesn’t this mark scream ambush point? You’ve got a pooling of water, cover, current, and structure. The logjam is recent — maybe two or three years old — and although I hit it every time I’m here I’ve never caught anything. Not even a courtesy swipe. I’m trying hard not be bitter, but come on. Really?
Make ’em come up! I started out dedicated to the dry fly cause, but as the minutes ticked by, I began to suspect that deep was the way to go. I tried jigging some tungsten bead-head soft hackles in the deeper plunges and runs, but no joy. Then I decided to go with a dry/dropper setup. The dropper was a G-R Blue Bead Midge. I was drifting the rig down a slow seam when the dry simply disappeared from the surface. The take was so subtle, I was a little late on the set. I needn’t have worried — the char was a good one and the barbless hook was impaled in its upper jaw. This was my only fish of the day; I had a smaller fish twice bump the dry a few hundred yards downstream but there was no tug forthcoming.

4 comments on “Small Stream Report 12/9/21: Speaking of wild trout…

  1. Alan Petrucci says:

    I agree Steve you made the right choice all around. The crispness of a winter stream just refreshes the soul.

  2. Bill Giokas says:

    Down here on Cape Cod we have the Quashnet River which has sea run Brook Trout ! Talk about a tough fish! They have to deal with Blue fish and Striped bass to survive . The Cape Cod TU Chapter has been working on this steam for over twenty years. Bill

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